Yorkshire Terrier: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


The Yorkshire terrier or “Yorkie” is one of the most widespread companion dog breeds throughout the world. Its characteristics include its small size and its beautiful coat. Thanks to its character, full of vitality and energy, many games can be played with them. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Yorkshire terrier.


Character of the Yorkshire Terrier breed

The Yorkshire terrier has become on its own merits one of the three most popular breeds in the world and the most widespread of the so-called companion breeds, among which it occupies the first position par excellence.

Both because of its character, its small size and its friendly appearance, it is often taken for a luxury dog, easy to maintain and simple and fun to coexist, but do not be misled, because under that appearance sophisticated hides a real terrier.

It has a very intelligent, lively and energetic demeanor, which is always alert. It can be stubborn and, despite its small size, it is brave and somewhat quarrelsome.

It is a cheerful, energetic and loyal dog. Its potential owners must assume all these characteristics and be able to understand and treat it as it deserves. A dog very attached to its family , for which he feels and expresses true devotion.

If it perceives that there is no clear leadership in the herd, it tries to impose its will, and it can do so in a despotic and aggressive way, since one of its main characteristics is that it is not at all aware of its size in relation to others.

Its security and self-confidence lead them not to calibrate its forces in the face of possible confrontations.

If they do so, they will have an extraordinary and fun pet at home, but you should never make the mistake of treating it in a too humanized way or overprotecting it, because in this way the only thing that is achieved is that the dog develops behaviours completely alien to their race.

Its relationship with children in general is good, but as long as they behave with them correctly, assume that its size does not make them a toy and do not try to abuse the unequal correlation of forces.

Otherwise, the animal will avoid the company of the smallest of the house or, what is worse, as protection, it will react violently to their presence.

On the other hand, with older people it is a real charm. Although, if the dog lives in the company of an elderly person, it is necessary to ensure that there is always someone who can satisfy its needs for exercise and expansion, which are very high for this small dog.

The owner of a Yorkie does not have to be fooled by its size: it is small, yes, but it is not a fragile dog to be kept away from the dangers of daily life.

It should never be forgotten that the ancestors of this little dog risked their lives facing rats, foxes and ferrets in the dark underground galleries of the mines, as well as keeping company with their family afterwards.

Another quality of the Yorkshire Terrier’s personality is its need to be seen and understood. This leads it to be, at times, a noisy animal that barks insistently at the slightest occasion, which can become a problem, especially if you live surrounded by neighbors.

Many times this noisy behavior is the expression of the breed’s need for communication, so the best way to avoid it is to maintain permanent contact with the dog and try to have its needs met.

Full of joy and with a strong, spirited, brave and somewhat stubborn temperament, this small dog is not aware of its size when facing any adventure, so it is rather bully.

  • Energy: High level. Very active, you need your exercise requirements to be met.
  • Temperament: It is vital, alert, cheerful, full of energy and affectionate, but also brave, stubborn and somewhat reckless. Intelligent and balanced, it is very loyal to its owner.
  • Adaptability: High. It loves living at home because it adores its family. Sometimes, in its eagerness to make themselves understood, it is noisy.
  • Sociability: High. Very attached to its masters, it gets along well with children, the elderly and with other animals.
  • Health: Good. You may suffer from a joint or oral condition, but you are very healthy.
  • Longevity: Very high. Live more than 15 years.
  • Utility: Formerly it hunted mice and rats, but today it is reduced to working as a companion dog.
  • Use: Companion dog.

Yorkshire Terrier characteristics

The Yorkshire terrier dog breed has among its characteristics that it has a compact and clean appearance and figure, a rectangular structure and a vigorous and well-proportioned body. It is a small dog with a very elegant bearing.

It is a small dog, the Yorkshire terrier weighs around 3 kg. It is very vital and energetic, and its body, despite its small size, is strong and well proportioned.

Its coat is striking, which well cared for reaches the ground in two sheets that fall straight on both flanks of the animal. A very long and smooth mane falls from the top of the head and the muzzle.

Yorkshire Terrier breed standard

Let’s see in more detail what the Yorkshire terrier and breed standard look like :

  • General Appearance: With a vigorous and well-proportioned body, this compact and clean-looking dog stands out for its spectacular coat of very long, smooth hair.
  • Size and carving: Miniature.
  • Height at the withers: There is no established size for the breed.
  • Weight: Less than 3.1 kilograms.
  • Origin: United Kingdom.
  • Body: It is compact.
  • Head: small and rather flattened, the skull is neither very prominent nor very round; the snout, not very long, ends in a round, black nose.
  • Skull: Not very prominent, but small and flattened.
  • Muzzle: Rather short.
  • Nose: black.
  • Eyes: They are of medium size, dark and bright, with a very intelligent expression. The edge of the eyelids is also dark.
  • Ears: Set high and not far apart, they are small, “V” shaped and erect. They are covered with short hair of a very dark and intense tan color.
  • Jaws: Well leveled, with scissor bite, uniform, regular and complete.
  • Neck: It is long, with a good reach.
  • Chest: Ribs are moderately arched.
  • Forelimbs: Straight and well covered with hair of an intense golden color, which does not exceed the height of the elbow. At the ends of the hair the color is lighter than at the roots. The shoulders are well sloped.
  • Hind limbs: Very straight and also covered with abundant intense fire-colored hair. His legs, seen from behind, are very straight. The knees have a moderate incline.
  • Feet: They are small, round in shape and with black nails. They have straight, short legs and well covered with long tan hair.
  • Tail: taller than the croup, it is straight, fine and long enough to give the sensation of balance. It is covered with abundant blue hair, darker than the rest of the body. In many cases it is amputated more or less towards the middle.
  • Hair: The fur, which is fine, very long, smooth and silky, covers the entire body.
  • Color: Dark steel blue, not silver, extending from occiput to root of tail. On the chest it is an intense and bright tan color. The tan hairs are darker at the root than in the middle and at the tips, where the coat is much lighter.
  • Movement: The dog advances with a free movement and with a lot of push, keeping the level of the back straight.
  • FCI Classification: FCI # 86 Group 3: Terriers – Section 4 Companion Terriers.

Yorkshire Terrier puppy

Once the decision to acquire, buy or adopt a Yorkie has been made, many people find themselves lacking the necessary information about how to care for and what to do with a puppy of this special breed.

Those who are less expert in owning and caring for a dog may feel a little scared at the idea of ​​taking care of an animal of such a small size and fragile appearance, but nothing could be further from the truth, because with a little care and proper precautions the experience of raising a puppy of this breed can be extraordinary.

Before the arrival of the Yorkshire terrier puppy, it is important to plan everything that will be needed in the immediate future. Obviously everyone focuses their attention on the purchase of those everyday objects with which the puppy will interact: his bed, toys, collar and leash, utensils for grooming, food and serving containers, etc.

But, above all these things, the most important thing is to find a trusted veterinarian who is close to home and to whom you can go in case of emergency.

It is always advisable to visit several and ask them for recommendations about the dog that is about to come home, and, once you have decided who will be in charge of monitoring the puppy’s health, arrange a first visit to check the puppy a few days after he got home.

In case future owners decide to put the care and grooming of their pet’s hair in the hands of a professional, it is also advisable to look for it in good time. In all these tasks it can be very useful to seek advice from both the breeder, if he lives in the same area where the owners reside, and the breed club.

Once the puppy arrives home, it is advisable to wait a little before visiting the vet, since the first days, after having separated them from its brothers and its mother, it may suffer a little restlessness.

Such stress causes intestinal derangements or minor disorders that are not of major importance, but which can scare the inexperienced owner.

After these first days, it is advisable to go to the veterinary consultation and submit the animal to a thorough examination. That way you can know if there are any problems not detected by the breeder and prescribe a treatment as soon as possible.

Yorkshire terrier puppies develop very quickly, something common in all small breeds, as they reach their adult size before reaching the first year of life.


Yorkshire Terrier education and training

Regarding the Yorkshire terrier education, there is no excuse for having a yorkie with a bad temper.

The breed is very easy to train as long as the task is faced in an orderly, constant, firm way and without showing doubts or insecurities, since these are immediately captured by the dog and used against their masters.

Being very intelligent, basic obedience work is quite simple and, although its size limits and conditions it, many different activities can be carried out with it.

It can even become an extraordinary watchdog, since it is always alert and warns of the presence of any stranger.

What cannot be expected of this dog is that it effectively defends the house. It will, no doubt, but the results can be very dire and always unfavorable for this unconscious little warrior.

Yorkshire terriers need to go out and exercise to avoid becoming sedentary and bored, as they could then be noisy.

Letting them run around the field, the beach or the park allows them to keep fit, release energy and entertain themselves by playing.


Yorkshire Terrier diet

Regarding the feeding of the Yorkshire terrier , the first days it is convenient to maintain the routines that the breeder followed. Do not make any changes regarding the hours and the type of food that it provided.

And if changes are made later, it is better to do it gradually. To observe how the dog adapts to its new food and to avoid digestive problems .

These puppies have a very small stomach , but enormous vitality and very high energy needs.

Therefore, it is essential to divide the daily intake into three or four doses to be able to give them the necessary ration without straining their digestive system and to keep their glycogen levels optimal.


Yorkshire Terrier health and diseases

In general, it is a healthy and very long-lived animal. Most of its health problems are a direct consequence of its small size. They can be: joint conditions such as knee dislocation , heart problems or early loss of teeth.

The obesity is another major upheaval for this race. Excess weight leads to kidney , hair and other problems for this breed, as its structure is not prepared to withstand being overweight .

These problems can become chronic and greatly impair the quality of life of the animal and, by sympathy, that of its owners.

For the rest, the veterinarian must control that the usual and routine vaccinations are carried out . In addition to carrying out an internal and external deworming program adapted to the place and lifestyle of the dog.

Parasites act as transmitters of many diseases and their presence inactivates vaccinations, so it is important to ensure that the animal is free of parasites before vaccinating.


Yorkshire Terrier care

The Yorkshire terrier is one of the paradigmatic breeds of dog grooming. All their owners like to keep their dog in top condition. To do this, one of the basic tasks is to brush it every day so that it does not form knots .

Yorkshire Terrier hair care

One of the advantages of this dog is that it does not have undercoat and, in addition, it does not have annual shedding, something especially indicated for people who suffer from some type of allergy to dog hair.

But, on the other hand, your hair can reach a considerable length, which is why it is often advisable to cut it. In addition, it is essential to comb it daily to avoid knotting.

Depending on the natural quality of the coat, the Yorkie may display a longer or shorter coat.

Thus, if the texture of the coat is hard or woolly, it is best to keep the hair rather short. If it has a silky texture, it can be allowed to reach a longer length. But, in this case, the necessary care is very intense and must be daily, with frequent baths and almost constant maintenance, which implies a great effort and work.

Grooming the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire terrier should never be brushed with completely dry hair , as it would break, so it must first be moistened with a special moisturizing product or a little conditioner diluted in water.

For brushing, a natural horsehair brush is used , which helps to smooth the hair and highlight its natural shine, and a metal comb, which is passed from the midline of the spine downwards, trying to open all the hair and leaving it free of tangles and knots.

This brushing is the most important routine in the maintenance of the coat and must be carried out daily if the animal is to be kept in the best conditions.

Yorkshire Terrier Bath

The bath must be frequent , at least twice a month, and you must use a highly hydrating shampoo. Once thoroughly rinsed, it is advisable to apply a special conditioner, leave it to act for about five minutes so that it nourishes the hair well, and then rinse well with warm water.

It should then be dried quickly and well to prevent the hair from knotting, first using a soft towel to remove excess water and then using the warm air dryer while brushing with the comb following the natural growth line of the hair. hair.

Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

In the specimens of this breed that have a well-kept coat, the hair can reach a great length, even dragging on the ground, and in that case a certain aesthetic arrangement is necessary.

Thus, to prevent the hair from bending and opening forming a wave, the ends must be trimmed with flat scissors and following the natural line of the dog’s silhouette.

On the other hand, the hair on the head is gathered into a ponytail called a top knot, which is always fastened with typical red bows.

It may also be convenient to trim the beard and mustache hair somewhat , especially if it has been oxidized by saliva or traces of moisture.

A little trick to get your hair to its maximum length without breaking is to gather it into strands. Hydrate them with oil and pack them with tissue paper. And this work must be repeated daily. It should be: unpacked, combed, re-oiled, and repackaged, except on days when bathing is included in the routine.

Without a doubt, it is a sacrifice, but the reward is that the dog ends up showing the best of its aspects, with spectacular beauty.


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